Sunset Song

United Kingdom | 2015 | 135 minutes | Terence Davies

Epic, emotional, and filled with both captivating period detail and painterly visual landscapes, the latest from director Terence Davies (The House of Mirth) looks back at the life of a peasant farm family's life in pre-WWI Scotland.

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Considered a seminal Scottish novel, Lewis Grassic Gibbon's 1932 classic, Sunset Song, sounds echoes of Thomas Hardy and D.H. Lawrence in its bracing tale of a farmer's daughter enduring all that life can throw at her in the World War I era. Realistic and romantic, it dovetails naturally with Terence Davies' work (The House of Mirth, The Deep Blue Sea, The Long Day Closes) in its compassionate identification with a strong but struggling woman and its unsentimental view of an ignorant, patriarchal working-class family. After her mother suffers a tragic breakdown, it is left to Chris (luminous newcomer Agyness Deyn) to put aside her aspirations and care for her younger siblings as well as her domineering, angry father (Peter Mullan). Respite comes from the courtship of a sympathetic neighbor, Ewan (Kevin Guthrie), but the outbreak of the Great War comes hard on the heels of their wedding; while the conflict seems a million miles away from their rustic existence, pressure mounts on Ewan to enlist. Shot in 65mm widescreen, Davies' stately, composed aesthetic harks all the way back to D.W. Griffith and John Ford: old-fashioned, perhaps, but tapping into vast reservoirs of feeling.

Director Biography
Terence Davies is a globally respected writer and film director of both original and adapted works, noted for his recurring themes of emotional (and sometimes physical) endurance, the influence of memory on everyday life, and the potentially crippling effects of dogmatic religiosity on the emotional life of individuals and societies. The caliber of his work led to Screen on the Green crediting him as Britain's Greatest Living Director in 2009.

Sponsored by AARP of Washington

  • Director: Terence Davies
  • Principal Cast: Agyness Deyn, Peter Mullan, Kevin Guthrie
  • Country: United Kingdom
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 135 minutes
  • Producer: Roy Boulter, Sol Papadopoulos, Nicolas Steil
  • Screenplay: Terence Davies
  • Cinematographers: Michael McDonough
  • Editors: David Charap
  • Music: Gast Waltzing
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: The Deep Blue Sea (2011); Of Time and the City (doc, 2008); House of Mirth (2000); The Neon Bible (1995); The Long Day Closes (1992); Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988); The Terence Davies Trilogy (1983);
  • Language: English
  • Format: DCP
  • US Distributor: Magnolia Pictures
  • International Sales: Fortissimo Films